An Empty Womb: What My Life Looks Like Without Children

One of the aspects of infertility that I am stark-raving passionate about is ‘living life outside of infertility’.

For the first few years of this journey, I went kicking and screaming about not having control over my wanting children. I had plans to start a family and when it didn’t happen I threw a life sized hissy fit. My every waking moment was focused on waiting for a positive pregnancy test. The sad part is that I missed out on so much life during those years.

I genuinely regret the years that I’ve lost. I won’t get those opportunities and moments back. They’re gone for good. 

I’d been reading Kingdom Woman by Tony Evans and got to a section about single womanhood. Usually I blow right past sections like these because, hello(!), I’m married! But, for some reason, I was feeling a nudge to read it. 

About a paragraph in I knew exactly why. Yes, the section talked about singles. But, dog-gone, there is an important lesson in those pages that absolutely applies to barrens and, y’all, I JUST HAD TO SHARE IT WITH YOU! 

Below is a portion of those pages as it is written.

The moment you become distracted by the idea of singlehood being nonfulfilling – on desiring or chasing after a mate rather than waiting on God’s plan for your life (whether or not that includes a mate) – you have let your singlehood get in the way of God’s purpose. In fact, you have let your singlehood get in the way of God’s kingdom and your well-being because you have chosen to spend your time thinking about, feeling frustrated over, or attempting to create a way to get married. God desires you to be content where you are as a single. You have the opportunity that married women do not have to fully maximize your gifts, skills, time, treasures, and talents for the glory of God. Not only that, but you also have more time to sit at Jesus’ feet as Mary did and develop an intimate relationship with the Savior.

Now read it from the context of infertility. 

The moment you become distracted by the idea of barrenness being nonfulfilling – on desiring or chasing after a child rather than waiting on God’s plan for your life (whether or not that includes a child) – you have let your barrenness get in the way of God’s purpose. In fact, you have let your barrenness get in the way of God’s kingdom and your well-being because you have chosen to spend your time thinking about, feeling frustrated over, or attempting to create a way to have children. God desires you to be content where you are as a barren. You have the opportunity that mothers do not have to fully maximize your gifts, skills, time, treasures, and talents for the glory of God. Not only that, but you also have more time to sit at Jesus’ feet as Mary did and develop an intimate relationship with the Savior.

Somebody had better throw me an AMEN!!! Truly, I don’t need to write anything more. This says it all and produces enough conviction for us to digest.

To me, I am a ‘single’ in the realm of motherhood. I am that unmarried woman in a social circle of marrieds. I’m the third wheel. The spinster and all these other terms and phrases we can think of.

But, did you catch the underlying truth?!?! “you have let your barrenness get in the way of God’s kingdom and your well-being”

This is exactly what I was guilty of in those early years. I could think of nothing more than my lack. But, in reality, God had given me an abundance and many distractions that I can say have been very, very important to His Kingdom. 

It wasn’t until I finally let go of the life I thought I was purposed for that I saw my true calling. It was something I’ve never imagined but looking back He had been planting seeds for decades. I just didn’t realize it. 

Photo Credit: Ashley Duke, Faith Photography

So, I started making a list of the purposes I have as a barren woman and how my freedom from distraction is used for Kingdom work:

  • Kingdom Purpose #1 – My general work & ministry as a wife
  • Kingdom Purpose #2 – My specific work as the wife of a farmer… seriously in all seriousness… I, too, am on call every hour of the day…
  • Kingdom Purpose #3 – My work as a writer & blogger… I’ve been equipped to help YOU!
  • Kingdom Purpose #4 – My work in my home church
  • Kingdom Purpose #5 – My work as an experienced woman in waiting and sharing how to have joy when circumstances are disappointing
  • Kingdom Purpose #6 – My role as a business owner and how the Lord uses our company to help others
  • Kingdom Purpose #7 – My ability to sit at the feet of Christ, to be ministered to in order to grow and prepare to help others in the same season as me as well as those who are in a different season

Y’all, I’m busy! It’s all good stuff! I’m definitely not without purpose. 

This blog would have never have come into existence if it weren’t for my life in waiting and the realization that God had something so much bigger for me. My ministry to Brooks would never be where it’s at if I had the distraction of raising kids. Our farm would not thrive without being free from the chains of motherhood. And more importantly, the work I’ve done for the Kingdom wouldn’t have been done. 

I was letting my barrenness get in the way of God’s Kingdom and my own well-being. But, not anymore. I embrace my life today, doing the work I’ve been given and, YES, ENJOYING EVERY BIT OF IT! I have the right to be happy expressing the passions that have been placed in my heart. 

Never in a million years would I have thought of myself as a writer. But, here I am writing away… because God ordained it at least for a season. 

So, if you are a barren (or perhaps a single that has stumbled across this post), know this – 

YOU ARE NOT DEFINED BY YOUR CIRCUMSTANCE!

Your circumstance is just a description… not a definition. I can assure you that those who know me best would describe me as a barren woman. But, my guess, is that they wouldn’t say it’s my identity.

They identify me by the work of my hands rather than my status as a woman without children. They would say that my fervent JOY, my blog, my food, and my farmwife life (and how those things effect kingdom work) are at the core of who I am and my existence. It’s my identity. 

Same with Brooks. He’s known as the farmer, a man of humility, and a hard-worker. He’s not defined as a brood-less man. His brood-lessness is simply a circumstance; not an identity.

You are defined by the passions in your heart as they are placed there by the Lord. That is your identity and your purpose and your calling. I wholeheartedly implore you to take stock of your life, restructure and rearrange and purge as necessary, and start living life as He’s purposed. Let go of the things you can’t control and take hold of the things right in front of you. And have some fun while you’re at it.

Oh, and order a copy of Kingdom Woman and Kingdom Man. These reads will knock your socks off and are PERFECT for an infertile whose trying to find her or his way!

7 thoughts on “An Empty Womb: What My Life Looks Like Without Children

  • June 20, 2017 at 10:50 AM
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    Thank you so much for this wonderful blog. I currently have been dealing with being barren and feeling lost amongst family and friends. Not knowing what I really want or where I want my life to go. I stumbled onto your site looking for SAHWNK on Pinterest. And, girl you are truly an instrument of God. Reading your blogs has given me hope and left me with a feeling relief.

    Reply
    • June 21, 2017 at 7:06 AM
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      Lyndsie – thank you for your kind words and I am SO GRATEFUL that the Lord has ministered to your heart. It’s amazing how infertility effects every component of our life – friends, family, work, and especially marriage. I found so much comfort in IG feeds, blogs, and finding people all over that were walking the same path as us. I have VERY few people in my social life that understand the struggle. Truly only a handful and as you know it’s a lonely life. But, it’s the community that I’ve found on IG especially that has kept me focused on the positives. ❤️

      Reply
  • March 7, 2017 at 12:04 PM
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    AMEN! 😘🙏🏼💞💕

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  • March 7, 2017 at 10:21 AM
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    Love this Jil! Many times people (men and women) let their circumstances define them. When that happens so much joy is missed. There is always something “more” to define you. You just need to look, sometimes in unexpected things or places. So thankful for your “sharings”!

    Reply
    • March 7, 2017 at 3:08 PM
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      Yes, yes, YES! I hate that it’s so hard to move our focus from the bad to the good. It’s really a MINDSET change that needs to happen. Optimism versus pessimism. Positive versus negative. It certainly doesn’t happen over night. But, it can happen with some focus, intent, and determination. 💪🏼

      Reply
  • March 7, 2017 at 9:47 AM
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    Girl, You just bless my socks off😍
    You are such a beautiful instrument in the hands of God.

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    • March 7, 2017 at 10:03 AM
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      Thank you Sharon! It is so hard watching so many people try to wrap their identity around this thing called barrenness. I just can’t help but think of Sarah and Hannah and Elizabeth who all were barren and yes, they are known for it. But, their usefulness and identity is in Sarah making it to the “hall of faith”, Elizabeth encouraging Jesus’ mother Mary in her own pregnancy, and Hannah giving her son Samuel to the Lord! So, much wisdom we can grasp if we take the time to meditate on His word. He’s ready to speak. <3 Miss you Sharon!

      Reply

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